A day for exploring Gion, Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka-jinja

After so much walking, I decided that it was time to focus on one area and explore it properly. Gion is one of the most known and visited districts in Kyoto, so why not focusing on that area?


I asked for tips to one of the girls helping at the hostel, she’s from Taiwan and also new in Japan, she recommended me to start with some temples, so I started with the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, but not before a relaxing coffee and a bit of reading before what would become the longest walk!

Yasaka-jinja Shrine and Chion-in

I have to admit my expectations about Kyoto were too high, and I got a bit disappointed with what I saw when I arrived, I honestly don’t know what I had in mind, but I just didn’t like the so urban thing I first saw. After all, Kyoto is one of the biggest cities in Japan, what should I expect rather than a big urban city?

Chion-in Temple in Kyoto
Chion-in Temple in Kyoto

When I started my tour, through Kiyomizu-dera Temple slowly I start changing my opinion again, so much green there just next to the city center, then I went to Yasaka-jinja Shrine and Chion-in Temple which was really cool to get lost inside and enjoy all that not-urban area. I also had my first sushi in Japan near the Yasaka-jinja Shrine!

Gion and Nishiki Food Market

One area that a lot of people recommended me to visit is Gion district, it is nice during the day but totally different during the night, such an amazing atmosphere there! I really enjoyed getting lost there, I just walked around without a place to go, and by chance I found myself in Nishiki Food Market, the thing is that only back to the hostel I read that’s a very famous street!

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The food, the colors, the people, all of that looks so magical, I actually ended up eating there, some tuna sashimi on a stick. It is weird to eat big cubes of raw fish, the sashimi served in Europe is quite thin, there I saw it mostly in large pieces.

A day for exploring Gion, Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka-jinja
A day for exploring Gion, Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka-jinja

At some point I realized that my 32GB of storage wouldn’t suffice for my whole trip, and I found myself looking for a camera shop before it was too late, I had to buy an overpriced SD card for about 40€, but at least I wouldn’t end up without storage for more photos! Having that figured out, I just went to the hostel, with a few blisters on my feet! I have no idea how many kilometers I ended up walking that day! I was so tired that I almost fall asleep while chatting with Elma, and it was quite early when I fell asleep…

By Gil Sousa

Portuguese expat in Cork, traveler and food enthusiastic.

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